ROK and Inter-Korean relations
1 in 4 rural grooms married foreigners
June 28, 2005 ? More than a quarter of the men
in rural Korea who got married last year took a
foreign bride, according to the National Tax
The agency said that 6,629 men living in rural
areas got married last year, of whom 27.4
percent married foreign women.
Eight hundred ninety-seven of the brides were
from China, 550 from Vietnam and 195 from the
Sake makes comeback as gentler rice liquor
June 28, 2005 ? In the land where Korean soju
rules, anything but the lethal liquor becomes a
sidekick. Yet for years, those who prefer the
gentle taste of Asian rice wine, served hot or
cold, over conversation have opted for sake in
izakaya ? ubiquitous Japanese taverns.
For centuries, drinking sake was part of Korean
GNP Urges NK to Address Humanitarian Issues
By Jung Sung-ki
Rep. Park Geun-hye
Rep. Park Geun-hye Monday called on North Korea
to address its humanitarian issues, including
South Korean prisoners-of-war (POWs) and reunion
services for the peninsula's separated families,
in return for Seoul's humanitarian aid.
Seoul Seeks to Discuss POWs With North in Aug.
By Ryu Jin
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young said
Monday that South Korea would enter into earnest
discussion with North Korea in August over the
thorny issues of South Korean prisoners of war
(POWs) and the civilian abductees believed to be
living in the North.
Kaesong Project Produces First Inter-Korean Love
By Lee Jin-woo & Reuben Staines
With the growing economic, social and cultural
engagement between South and North Korea, it's
inevitable that relationships of a more personal
kind will also develop.
A news report published by a vernacular daily
describing a South Korean man who is considering
marrying a North Korean woman captured the
public's imagination yesterday, despite claims
that the newspaper distorted the facts.
Maeil Business Newspaper reported that a 29-year-
old South Korean employee of SJ Tech, an
electronic components manufacturer operating in
the Kaesong Industrial Complex, has fallen in
love with a North Korean worker.
S, N Writers to Hold First Joint Meeting
By Park Chung-a
Writers from North and South Korea will hold a
joint meeting in the North in July, their first
since the division of the two Koreas in 1945,
according to South Korean organizers Monday.
The Association of Writers for National
Literature announced yesterday that their North
Korean counterpart, the Choson Writers'
Alliance, agreed last week to its proposal to
hold a series of meetings from July 20 to 25 in
Pyongyang, Mt. Myohyang and Mt. Paekdu in North
Korea. The meetings are in commemoration of the
joint declaration announced on June 15, 2000, at
the inter-Korean summit.
The meeting was originally to be held last
August but was canceled at the last minute due
to political tension at the time.
Seoul Must Get Tough on NK: Lee Hoi-chang
By Reuben Staines
Defeated presidential candidate Lee Hoi-chang
urged the government on Sunday to get tough with
North Korea over its nuclear weapons programs.
Lee, who ran on the main opposition Grand
National Party's ticket in the 2002 presidential
election, said South Korea should forthrightly
warn the communist North of the serious
consequences if it refuses to abandon its
``Seoul must be prepared to wield a stick if,
indeed, the situation warrants,'' he said in a
thesis written during his stay as visiting
fellow at Stanford University's Hoover
Institution in California.
Some political observers believe Lee, who also
ran in and lost the 1997 presidential poll, may
be preparing to launch a third bid for Chong Wa
Dae in 2007.
3 N. Koreans Defect to South
Three North Koreans, all believed to be family
members, crossed the western maritime border by
boat yesterday to defect to South Korea, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The defectors were taken to a military facility
on Paengnyong Island for investigation, the JCS
One male, one female and one child were found
aboard the 1-ton boat in South Korean waters 2.9
miles northeast of the island at about 10 a.m.,
The North Koreans said they left from a small
North Korean port called Kumipo at dawn on
Saturday to escape poverty, the JCS said.
War Anniversary Stirs Bitter Memories
By Reuben Staines
Old, bitter memories stirred as Koreans on both
sides of the heavily fortified Demilitarized
Zone marked the 55th anniversary of the outbreak
of the 1950-53 Korean War on Saturday.
In Pyongyang, thousands of North Koreans turned
out to an anti-U.S. rally, alleging that
Washington started the war and charging its
soldiers of committing brutal wartime
atrocities, the country's state-run media
42% of Koreans say another war is possible here
June 25, 2005 ? According to a poll by the Joong-
Ang Ilbo, 42 percent of South Koreans say they
believe another war could take place on the
Korean Peninsula, with many believing North
Korea and the United States would be responsible
Marking the 55th anniversary of the beginning of
the Korean War, the newspaper conducted a random
telephone survey of 767 men and women over 18
years old. The respondents include 189 persons
in their 20s, 179 in their 30s, 169 in their 40s
and 230 older than 50. With a confidence level
of 95 percent, the poll's sampling error is plus
or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Among those who said another war is possible, 49
percent said the North will likely be
responsible for a second Korean War, while 37
percent picked the United States.
The survey asked respondents if they knew what
year the Korean War started. Two thirds gave the
correct answer: 1950. Among those in their 20s,
only 46 percent knew the year. [SK attitude NK] [SK attitude US] [Threat]
Talks result brought pact on 12 points
June 25, 2005 ? In ministerial talks this week
between North and South Korea, the two countries
came to a 12-point agreement, laying out a
schedule for more meetings on economic
assistance, military cooperation, humanitarian
aid and history projects. The following is the
list of the accords.
1. The two Koreas will send government
delegations to the Aug. 15 South-North Joint
Celebration of the National Liberation Day that
will be held in the South. The working-level
talks covering the event will be held next month
2. It was agreed that denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula was an ultimate goal and the
two sides said they would undertake to
peacefully resolve the nuclear issue through
dialogue as soon as a favorable atmosphere for
the six-party talks is realized.
3. Reunions for families separated by the Korean
War will begin again at Mount Kumgang starting
from Aug. 26. It was agreed to hold Red Cross
talks in August to discuss humanitarian issues,
including efforts to determine the fate of those
still missing from the Korean War.
4. A video reunion is to be organized on a trial
basis on Aug. 15, National Liberation Day. The
working-level talks for the video reunion will
be held in early July in Kaesong.
5. The sides jointly confirmed that the 1905
Eulsa Protectorate Treaty, under which Japan
annexed Korea, was invalid. They also will seek
to recover the "Bukgwandaechobbi," an ancient
stone tablet commemorating a Korean military
victory over Japan, now kept at the Yasukuni war
shrine. They agreed to jointly pursue the
project of recovering the remains of Ahn Jung-
geun, a Korean patriot who assassinated a
Japanese statesman in 1909.
6. It was agreed to hold talks among military
generals at Mount Paektu, and a specific date
will be mutually decided later.
7. Maritime cooperation talks are to be held
8. Agricultural cooperation talks will take
place next month.
9. North Korean civilian vessels will be allowed
to pass through the strait between Jeju and the
10. The South will provide the North with food
assistance on humanitarian grounds.
11. The Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee
is to be held July 9-12 in Seoul.
12. The next ministerial talks are to be
convened Sept. 13-16, at Mount Paektu, North
Korea and it was decided to hold the 17th round
of ministerial talks in December in the South.
by Ser Myo-ja
Roh Moo Hyun Meets North Side's Delegation
Seoul, June 23 (KCNA Correspondent) -- President
of south Korea Roh Moo Hyun Thursday met the
north side's delegation led by Kwon Ho Ung,
chief councilor of the DPRK Cabinet, attending
the 15th north-south ministerial talks. On hand
were Minister of Unification Jong Tong Yong who
is chief delegate of the south side's delegation
and other officials concerned of the south side.
The president noted he felt thankful to Chairman
of the DPRK National Defence Commission Kim Jong
Il for receiving his special envoy and his party
that participated in the June 15 grand festival
for reunification and saying meaningful words
related to the development of the inter-Korean
Saying that Kim Jong Il's reception of his
special envoy has brought the talks to a
success, Roh underscored the need for the south
and the north to advance together towards
prosperity and overcome the division.
The president asked the head of the delegation
to convey his regards to Kim Jong Il.
Joint Press Release on 15th Inter-Korean
Ministerial Talks Issued
Pyongyang, June 24 (KCNA) -- A joint press
release was published at the 15th North-South
Ministerial Talks held in Seoul Thursday.
According to it, both sides appreciated the
successes made in the bilateral relations over
the past five years since the publication of the
June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and have
agreed as follows on promoting peace and
prosperity on the Korean Peninsula in the idea
of "By our nation itself", the core of the joint
declaration: 1. The north and the south decided
to dispatch delegations of their authorities to
the August 15 national joint functions to be
held in the area of the south side and hold a
working contact for this in Kaesong within July.
2. The north and the south agreed to take
substantial measures to seek a negotiated and
peaceful solution to the nuclear issue with the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as an
ultimate goal, depending on the atmosphere to be
created to do so.
3. The north and the south decided to arrange
the reunions of separated families and relatives
at Mt. Kumgang resort from August 26. They, at
the same time, agreed to hold a ground-breaking
ceremony for the construction of the Mt. Kumgang
Reunion Centre and finish the measurement and
geological survey within July to this end.
They also agreed to open the sixth round of the
Inter-Korean Red Cross talks within August to
discuss such humanitarian issues as the issue of
ascertaining the whereabouts of those reported
missing during the Korean war.
4. The north and the south decided to start
helping separated families and relatives appear
on TV screens to see each other on an
experimental basis on the occasion of the August
15 liberation day and have a working contact for
it in Kaesong around July 10. 5. The north and
the south confirmed the illegality and
invalidity of the "Ulsa Five-Point Treaty" this
year which marks the centenary of the
fabrication of the treaty by the Japanese
For the present both sides agreed to work for
Japan's return of the "monument to the victory
in the battle fought in the northern area of
Korea" and take a technical measure to this end.
And they decided to jointly push forward the
retrieval of the remains of martyr An Jung Gun.
6. The north and the south agreed on the premise
that the third round of the inter-Korean
military authorities' talks will be opened in
Mt. Paektu in the future and decided to
recommend the inter-Korean military authorities
to fix the definite date of the talks.
7. The north and the south agreed to form and
operate a panel for cooperation in fisheries
under the North-South Committee for the
Promotion of Economic Cooperation to ensure
peace in the West Sea and hold fishery talks
within July to discuss and settle the issues
related to cooperation in fisheries including
8. The north and the south agreed to form and
operate the "North-South Committee for
Agricultural Cooperation" with vice-ministers as
its co-chairmen within the framework of the
inter-Korean ministerial talks for the purpose
of promoting cooperation in the field of
agriculture and hold its first meeting in
Kaesong around mid-July.
9. The north and the south agreed to allow
civilian ships of the north side to pass the
Jeju Strait and discuss and settle specific
technical issues to this end.
10. The south side decided to supply food to the
north side from the compatriotic and
humanitarian point of view and handle detailed
procedures at the 10th meeting of the North-
South Committee for the Promotion of Economic
11. The north and the south decided to hold the
10th meeting of the North-South Committee for
the Promotion of Economic Cooperation in Seoul
from July 9 to 12 and accordingly take measures
to positively promote the economic cooperation.
12. The north and the south agreed to hold the
16th North-South Ministerial Talks in Mt. Paektu
from Sept. 13 to 16, 2005 and the 17th talks in
the south side's area within December.
North Side's Delegation Back from Inter-Korean
Pyongyang, June 24 (KCNA) -- The north side's
delegation led by Kwon Ho Ung, chief councilor
of the DPRK Cabinet, came back Friday after
participating in the 15th inter-Korean
ministerial talks held in Seoul. It was greeted
at the airport by Kim Yong Jin, minister of
Education, Kim Yong Ho, chief secretary of the
DPRK Cabinet, An Kyong Ho, director of the
Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful
Reunification of the Fatherland, and officials
NK Changes Negotiation Tactics Toward South
By Ryu Jin
North Korean officials returned home yesterday
after their four-day ministerial talks here with
their Southern counterparts, leaving their hosts
content and, more importantly, hopeful for
future talks after a change in negotiation
The latest Cabinet-level talks, which came after
a one-year hiatus, produced a 12-point joint
press statement, which experts expected would
accelerate inter-Korean reconciliation and
From the North's nuclear problem to the thorny
issue of South Korean prisoners of war (POWs),
the statement included almost all matters
needing to be addressed in the coming months,
though it fell short of fixing a date for a new
round of six-party nuclear talks.
Senior Cabinet Councilor Kwon Ho-ung, the
North's chief delegate to the Seoul meeting,
also repeated the words of his ``Dear Leader''
as South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun
expressed gratitude for the early conclusion at
Chong Wa Dae just prior to the release of the
``Chairman Kim instructed us to avoid needless
confrontation to save face,'' Kwon said.
``Things went well this time as Minister Chung
and I held negotiations in that spirit.''
Historic Inchon Landing Operation Commemorated
By Lee Jin-woo
The U.S. 5th Marines use ladders as they prepare a landing assault at Red Beach
in Inchon, in this Sept. 15, 1950 file photo.
Hundreds of supporters have come together to promote a project to commemorate
the landing, on Sept. 15, 1950 in the country's western port city of Inchon
during the 1950-53 Korean War.
About 200 members of a committee, tentatively named the ``Committee Calling for
the Establishment of Incheon Landing Operation Commemoration Project,'' held a
promotion meeting at the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul yesterday.
``Although only 55 years have passed since the war happened, many people seem
to have already forgotten it,'' said Lee Han-soo, former president of a
vernacular newspaper Seoul Shinmun, in a speech during the meeting. ``We should
not forget the past since it greatly contributed to the establishment of the
democratic and liberal society we live in.''
Some 450 people active in all walks of life are collaborating to promote the
project. Among those who attended yesterday's meeting were former Labor
Minister Lee Hun-ki, Yoon Kook-byung, former president-publisher of The Korea
Times, and Choi Dhong-hou. president of the University of Sejong Cyber.
The famous Inchon amphibious landing was staged by the South Korean and U.N.
troops under U.S. General Douglas MacArthur.
With the landing, allied forces succeeded in regaining the capital Seoul from
the Communist troops on Sept. 28, 1950. [Media] [Korean War events]
Declaration Adopted to Promote DMZ as Global Symbol of Peace
By Lee Yong-sung
Some 160 noted figures, scholars and activists visited the Demilitarized Zone
(DMZ) Friday and adopted a declaration to promote the heavily fortified area as
a global symbol of peace and a clean environment.
The participants, including former Prime Minister Goh Kun, former U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, UNEP Deputy Executive Director
Shafqat Kakahel and Kim Jin-Sun, governor of Kangwon Province, visited the Hill
of Peace in Inje, Kangwon Province, which belongs to the DMZ.
North, South in accord for wide-ranging talks
June 24, 2005 ? Ending three days of ministerial
talks, representatives of North and South Korea
said yesterday they had reached a general
agreement to hold talks in July and August on
ways to reduce military tension on the
peninsula, on promoting reunions of families
separated by the Korean War and on rice aid to
North Korea's chief delegate, cabinet councilor
Kwon Ho-ung, and Unification Minister Chung Dong-
young of South Korea issued a 12-point statement
last night, saying that North Korea will send a
government delegation to the Aug. 15 Liberation
Day celebration in Seoul. The day marks Korea's
independence from Japan's colonial rule in 1945.
Lip service from the North
The 15th inter-Korean ministerial meeting held
in Seoul concluded yesterday. Its significance
is that it has revived an official channel
between the South and the North after more than
a year's suspension. An absence of dialogue was
of no help in reducing tension between the two
Koreas. They have agreed to break ground for the
construction of a meeting place for reunions of
separated families, and to promote cooperation
in the agriculture and fishery sectors. The
agreements will contribute to the progress of
The North asked the South for 400,000 tons of
rice. It is estimated that the North will be in
need of 1 million tons of rice this year. A vast
number of North Koreans face the threat of
famine. On humanitarian grounds alone, it is
inevitable that the North will be provided with
What matters is whether active inter-Korean
cooperation and aid to the North will contribute
to a solution to the nuclear problem
15th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Close
Seoul, June 23 (KCNA Correspondent) -- The 15th
north-south ministerial talks that opened in
Seoul on June 22 came to a close Thursday.
Through the talks the north and the south
strikingly demonstrated internally and
externally the new feature of the Korean nation
joining efforts and cooperating with each other
in the era after the publication of the June 15
joint declaration, away from the past framework
whereby they quarreled with each other standing
in confrontation to save their faces and found
themselves locked in the meaningless arguments.
Koreas Agree on Nuclear-Free Peninsula
South, North to Hold Red Cross Talks in August
By Ryu Jin
South and North Korea agreed on Thursday to take
``substantial measures'' to end the North's
nuclear standoff in a peaceful manner with the
ultimate goal being the denuclearization of the
``The South and North agreed to take substantial
measures to resolve the nuclear problem in a
peaceful manner, using dialogue when the
atmosphere has been created for the ultimate
goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula,'' they
said in a joint press statement.
Chung appeals to North for arms dialogue
June 23, 2005 ? In opening a new round of inter-
Korean ministerial talks in Seoul yesterday,
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young of South
Korea asked his North Korean counterpart to
address the issue of Pyongyang's nuclear arms
program, but the entreaty drew no response.
Instead, North Korea appealed for rice.
Talk not cheap with the North
June 24, 2005 ? Inter-Korean talks are pricey,
with the current four-day session costing South
Korea 400 million won ($395,804). Seoul would
like to do it cheaper, officials say.
The decision to hold this year's talks at
Seoul's Walker Hill Hotel, for example, was
taken after the South Korean government accepted
bids for the right to hold the event. Providing
a site for talks is considered a public
relations boon for the successful applicant.
In contrast with past talks, Pyongyang's chief
negotiator, on this occasion Kwon Ho-ung, is
staying not in a luxury suite but in a
relatively modest guest room on the seventh
floor, which costs 430,000 won per night.
The other North Korean delegates are sharing
rooms on the same floor.
South Korean Minister Chung Dong-young, however,
is staying in a special suite on the 17th floor
at a cost of 3.5 million won a night. Seoul said
the room is necessary for Mr. Chung to hold
private meetings with the North Koreans.
Korean War abductions re-enacted
June 24, 2005 ? Families of people who were
kidnapped by North Korean soldiers during the
Korean War walked through much of Seoul and
later rode north near the Demilitarized Zone
this week, re-enacting the abduction of their
loved ones, whom they have not seen since the
15th North-South Ministerial Talks Open
Seoul, June 22 (KCNA Correspondent) -- The 15th
North-South Ministerial Talks were opened in
Seoul today. The talks were addressed by the
head of the north side and the chief delegate of
the south side.
Chief Cabinet Councilor of the DPRK Kwon Ho Ung,
head of the north side, said: We are the
companions who should travel by the same
reunification boat called "By our nation itself"
and reach the destination of a reunified
country. To this end we should discard the
outdated conception and head for cooperation and
help on the basis of the bilateral recognition
and respect as members of the same nation.
Mt. Kumgang to House Reunion Hall
South, North to Hold Red Cross Talks in August
By Ryu Jin
South and North Korea agreed Thursday to begin
construction of a permanent meeting place for
the reunion of separated families at the North's
Mt. Kumgang in August and to hold the 11th round
of cross-border family reunions around Aug. 15.
In the final session of the 15th round of inter-
Korean ministerial talks in Seoul, they also
agreed on a new round of Red Cross talks in
August to address such humanitarian issues as
the South Korean prisoners of war (POWs) and
civilian abductees, who are believed to be still
in the North.
Roh Sends Message to Kim Jong-il
By Ryu Jin
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met North
Korean officials at Chong Wa Dae yesterday to
deliver his message to North's leader Kim Jong-
il, calling for a strategic decision to give up
his nuclear ambition, according to officials in
Shooting Rampage Changes People's Attitude About
By Lee Yong-sung
Students of Kyungnam University in Masan, South
Kyongsang Province, practice bayonet fencing
during a mock military drill in Changwon, South
Kyongsang Province, Wednesday. Following
Sunday's shooting incident, many people's
attitudes are changing toward compulsory
Sunday's shooting at an Army guard post inside
the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) has influenced a
change in opinion on those abandoning their
Korean nationality to avoid compulsory military
``What do I have to do to avoid being drafted?''
an Internet user, identifying himself as a
middle school student, posted on the bulletin
board of Naver (www.naver.com), a local portal
Female Presence Prominent in N. Korean Delegation
By Reuben Staines
Kim Song-hye Kim Myong-hi Ro Kum-sun
Three women are included in North Korea's 33-
member delegation at this week's 15th round of
inter-Korean ministerial talks in Seoul.
It is the first time Pyongyang has sent female
officials to a Cabinet-level meeting between the
two Koreas. The women include two working-level
officials and a journalist, the South's
Unification Ministry said yesterday.
But North Korea experts doubted that the
inclusion signals a greater empowerment of women
in the communist country's government.
There is only one female official in South
Korea's core delegation.
Students of North and South Get Together in Mt.
North, South Agree to Resume Ministerial Talks
Seoul to Send Delegation to Festival in
Pyongyang, Offer Fertilizer to North
North and South Agree on Joint Event to Mark 5th Anniv. of "June 15
North and South Korea agreed to hold a celebration to commemorate the 5th
anniversary of the "June 15 North-South Joint Declaration" in Pyongyang from
June 14 to 17.
Exchange of Animals Helps Promote Inter-Korean Cooperation
He-hippopotamus "Dongbongi" and she-hippopotamus
The Central Zoo of North Korea and the Seoul
Grand Park of the South exchanged animals around
the middle of April for the purposes of
preventing near propagations.
Exchange of animals is increasing between North
and South Korea.
North Koreans arrive in Seoul to renew talks
June 22, 2005 ? A team of North Korean
negotiators arrived in Seoul yesterday to renew
long-suspended ministerial talks and encountered
almost immediately a group of protesters bearing
signs that said "axis of evil Kim Jong-il."
The two Koreas are scheduled to hold four days
Cabinet Councilor Kwon Ho-ung led the North
Korean delegation, which arrived at the Incheon
International Airport yesterday afternoon on a
direct flight from Pyongyang. The 33-member team
includes journalists and support staff.
"This is my country and my land," Mr. Kwon said
upon arrival. "Please watch with anticipation."
The group then departed for the Walker Hill
Hotel, the venue for the talks. On the way they
met demonstrators with signs atop their cars
that denounced the North Korean regime led by
Lodging strong complaints with South Korean
officials about the protesters, the North
Koreans stopped their caravan near the hotel and
said they would not enter the premises.
It took South Korean officials 30 minutes to
persuade them to continue on.
Although the North Korean delegation started the
formalities with a stern demeanor, the
atmosphere quickly thawed as officials of both
countries exchanged greetings.
Reunification Festival at Seoul National
Pyongyang, June 21 (KCNA) -- A reunification
festival of Seoul National University was
reportedly held at the campus plaza on June 14
to mark the 5th anniversary of the publication
of the June 15 joint declaration. The executive
chairman of the June 15 Joint Meeting of the
university and other speakers at the festival
said they think again over the meaning of the
joint declaration on the 5th anniversary of its
publication and expressed the resolution to wage
a dynamic struggle against the U.S. and war and
for national cooperation.
North Side's Delegation Leaves for Seoul
Pyongyang, June 21 (KCNA) -- The north side's
delegation led by Kwon Ho Ung, chief councilor
of the DPRK Cabinet, left here by air Tuesday to
participate in the 15th inter-Korean ministerial
talks to be held in Seoul.
S. Korean Red Cross President and His Party
Pyongyang, June 21 (KCNA) -- South Korean Red
Cross President Han Wan Sang and his party
arrived here today. They were greeted at the
airport with compatriotic feelings by Choe Song
Ik, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of
the DPRK Red Cross Society, and officials
Breakthrough Expected at Inter-Korean Cabinet
By Reuben Staines
South and North Korea opened minister-level
talks in Seoul yesterday amid high expectations
for progress in inter-Korean relations and on
the protracted nuclear standoff. The 15th round
of inter-Korean Cabinet talks, which follows a
13-month boycott of high-level dialogue by
Pyongyang, kicked off with a dinner at the
Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel hosted by
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, South
Korea's top representative for the four-day
meeting. ``Today is the summer solstice and I
think this is a sign that we must work hard to
nurture inter-Korean relations, just as farmers
tend their crops at this time of year,'' Chung
urged his North Korean counterpart, Senior
Cabinet Councilor Kwon Ho-ung, during the
Kwon, who heads the five-member North Korean
delegation, agreed and said he will work hard to
make the meeting a success. The first full
session of discussions starts today.
Hopes are high for the talks following Friday's
unexpected face-to-face meeting between North
Korean leader Kim Jong-il and the South's
unification chief in Pyongyang.
Skewed Judiciary Undermines Human Rights:
The prosecution in South Korea exercises near complete control over the pre-trial and trial process.
Article in Human Rights Features, South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, India
Defense minister must go
The truth revealed yesterday about Sunday's
shooting rampage at a guard post near the Korean
border is shocking. The murder of eight fellow
soldiers, by a private who had been verbally
abused by his superiors, is devastating in
But the military investigation has further
revealed that the private had planned to wipe
out the entire platoon. He even fired another
shot at one of his superiors, to make sure he
What sort of place is this guard post? It is as
close to the border as a soldier gets, only a
few hundred meters from a North Korean guard
post. The soldiers there must perform their
duties without the slightest flaw, through
strict discipline and strong bonds with fellow
Until now, much of the public may have assumed
that such bonds existed. But at the frontlines
of the nation's security, verbal abuse by
superiors was rampant, and a tragedy occurred
because a private on the receiving end became
This case therefore raises a problem even more
serious than that of the suicides that occur in
the military from time to time. It clearly shows
that there are critical problems with our
security. We can no longer rely on anything if
an outpost on the inter-Korean border can
crumble so helplessly.
Seoul sees new order in North
June 15, 2005 ? North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
has largely revamped his inner circle over the
past six years, replacing as many as 26 out of
his 30 closest and most trusted officials in
ministries and the military.
According to a South Korean government document
obtained yesterday by the JoongAng Ilbo,
military officials have gained power in the Kim
regime since the death in 1994 of Kim Il Sung,
Mr. Kim's father and the founder of North Korea.
Kim Jong-il's government was inaugurated
officially in 1998, and his policy of "Military
First" has supported the steady addition of
military officials to the list of North Korea's
Top military figures almost always accompany Mr.
Kim when he tours the country.
Economic officials, relatively young, have also
gained power because they have been assigned to
carry out the communist country's economic
reform program and oversee experiments with
Korea Times dossier on 5th anniversary of
Park Jae-kyu: Best Supporting Actor in June 2000
By Ryu Jin
Five years has passed since the top leaders of
the two Koreas met for the first time. While Kim
Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il were the main actors in
that historic summit, there were some other key
figures playing supporting roles behind the
And few would disagree that, Park Jae-kyu, 61,
then unification minister and now president of
Kyungnam University in Masan, was among the most
A dignified scholar, who dedicated more than
half of his life to North Korean studies, Park
is said to often tell his aides that he is a
``lucky man,'' as he _ besides his career as the
unification minister _ had the additional
``glory'' of preparing for the historic summit
Born in Masan, South Kyongsang Province, Park
studied in Fairleigh Dickinson University and
the City University of New York in the United
States during the 1960s, when he became absorbed
in studying the Soviet economy. He made up his
mind aboard an airplane on his way back home in
1970 to embrace the North Korean studies as his
Former Unification Minister Park Jae-kyu, left,
shakes hands with Kim Jong-il, chairman of North
Korea's National Defense Commission, at Kim's
ranch in a rural provincial area of the
reclusive North on Sept. 1, 2000.
/ Courtesy of Kyungnam University
While teaching students at Kyungnam University
from 1973 as an assistant professor, he took
charge of the university's Institute for Far
Eastern Studies in Seoul, which became the Mecca
of North Korean studies along with the Graduate
School of North Korean Studies he later founded.
S-N Ministerial Talks to Begin Tuesday in Seoul
By Ryu Jin
South Korea hopes to discuss a variety of
proposals generally agreed on in last week's
meeting between its envoy and North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il, as official agendas for the
upcoming inter-Korean ministerial talks,
officials in Seoul said on Sunday.
South and North Korea are set to open a cross-border meeting led by Cabinet
ministers, which had been stalled for about 13 months since May last year, from
June 21 to 24 in Seoul as the North has shown willingness to rejoin the
six-nation talks on its nuclear weapons program.
Breakthrough Expected at Inter-Korean Cabinet Talks
By Reuben Staines
South and North Korea opened minister-level talks in Seoul Tuesday amid high
expectations for progress in inter-Korean relations and on the protracted
The 15th round of inter-Korean Cabinet talks, which follows a 13-month boycott
of high-level dialogue by Pyongyang, kicked off with a dinner hosted by
Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, South Korea's top representative for the
Most South Koreans Think Highly of Kim Jong-il's Remarks
SEOUL (Yonhap)_ More than 67 percent of South Koreans believe that last week's
talks between their unification minister and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il
will help ease tension on the Korean Peninsula, a survey showed Sunday.
[SK attitude NK]
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